Tesco sells Dobbies Garden Centres for 217m – BBC News

Tesco has sold its garden centre chain Dobbies for 217m as the retailer continues with its strategy of focusing on its supermarket business.

Dobbies has been sold to a group of investors led by Midlothian Capital Partners and Hattington Capital.

The sale comes a week after Tesco announced the sale of UK restaurant chain Giraffe and its Turkish business.

Tesco bought Dobbies in 2007 for 150m and it is now the UK’s second largest gardening retailer.

Dobbies – which has its headquarters in Lasswade, near Edinburgh – operates 35 garden centres in Scotland, England and Northern Ireland.

Tesco said that the business contributed 17m to its annual profits last year.

Core focus

Tesco has embarked on an asset sale programme in recent months, disposing of what it considers to be non-core parts of its business.

In addition to the recent sale of the Giraffe chain and Kipa, Tesco sold its South Korean business, Homeplus, last September for 4.2bn.

The sales are part of attempts by Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis to revive the retail giant’s fortunes.

Announcing the sale of the garden centre business, Mr Lewis said: “Through their hard work and dedication to customer service Dobbies colleagues have built a great business and I would like to thank them for everything they have done.

“It was a difficult decision to sell the business but we believe this agreement will give Dobbies a bright future while allowing our UK retail business to focus on its core strengths.”

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36557115